Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Imitation is the Biggest Form of Flattery

Let me begin with an anecdote:

When I was 7 I was the biggest Spice Girls fan on the planet. I satisfied my imagination by pretending to be Geri Halliwell a.k.a. Ginger Spice. I walked, attempted to talk, dress, and act like her. I also knew every word to every Spice Girls song… and I mean EVERY song. This included the song 2 Become 1, released in July of 1997 making me 8 years old. As one might be able to deduce from the title, the song is about sex.

I had a dance and everything for this song, which I practiced religiously.
Here’s a taste of some of my dance moves:
When Baby Spice (if I remember correctly) sang, “Come a little bit closer baby, get it on, get it on” I would beckon my finger and shake my hips; then, when she sang, “'Cause tonight is the night when 2 become 1” I would spread my arms out like a was Leonardo DiCaprio in Titanic and bring one inward in a circle; the first time around holding two fingers up and the second time around with just my index finger.

*To read through the complete set of lyrics, click HERE*

Sidenote: Parents, if I—an innocent 8 year old Catholic school girl who went to church every Sunday—did this in my spare time, then you better believe that your kid did, is doing, or will do the same.

The learning pattern of children is to learn, then imitate. This pattern is called Social Learning. A child will notice someone who they consider a role model that possesses desirable attributes (in my case, it was Ginger Spice) and then imitate the role model. Although this imitation can be, at times, concerning for parents, it’s usually isn’t something to call a child psychologist over. If kids are this easily influenced by someone in the media, for example, then they are can just as easily be influenced by other individuals in their lives (parents, siblings, teachers, etc). Therefore, one of these other role models can quell a child imitating a not-so-great quality or individual by simply setting a good example.

But here’s the issue: The advantage I had over kids these days was that I didn’t have access to technology; or at least technology as advanced as today. I may have pranced around in my mother’s heals, short shorts, and a boa singing 2 Become 1 at the top of my lungs, but I never had the ability to broadcast my imitation phase of Geri Halliwell on, say for example, youtube. Not to mention, even though the subject matter of this particular song is no where near appropriate for 8 year old ears, it’s not like I had any idea what any part of this song meant.

But kids these days not only engage in their imagination like I did but they can also broadcast it for anyone to see; and naturally everyone is freaking out because they can’t believe what they are seeing.

There are so many young girls with their own youtube channel where they dance and sing to popular songs of the day, making their own music video. One of the most popular is doglover199709.

But recently, one little girl has gotten the most backlash for her youtube music video: Miley Cyrus’ 9 year old sister, Noah.
The only reason why anyone is paying more attention to her (I’m guessing) is because she is associated with someone already famous… someone a lot of people already don’t like.

If you watch this video, you can tell that her intentions are just to have fun and she clearly has no idea what “getting crunk” means seeing as she fake chugs a Red Bull (see the 1:04 mark)…although maybe this is because she couldn’t get her hands on a real beer can…
Actually my biggest concern when watching this video is the sketchy guy dancing in the background.

Needless to say, even though I think her parents should have monitored her activities a little bit better and maybe kept this particular video for home video use only, I really don’t think it’s anything to freak out about. Sadly, my only reasoning for this is just because I turned out just fine.

But what do you think? Has Noah Cyrus already been showing early signs of Lindsey Lohan Syndrome?

UPDATE: Word on the street is little Cyrus is starting a lingerie line… I think now people can panic.


  1. Megan --- I too loved the Spice Girls, but it was different for me. My parents were strict and didn't like me imitating celebrities that they thought were bad influences. With the Spice Girls, they didn't like how they dressed or acted. So, my imitations were limited to the privacy of my bedroom (with the door closed) or at friend's houses. It's interesting how so many young girls (and boys, too) use imitation as a means of play and exploration. I just find it scary that many of these young children are being allowed to go to PG-13 or even R-rated movies, i.e. Transformers, Transformers 2, etc, where there is so much violence, blood, gore, skin and even sex. Awkward. Looking forward to next week!

  2. I agree! It's so scary to see such young kids exposed to a lot of the same stuff I am these days. I can't help but wonder, "was I exposed to all of this??"
    That's why I think that good role models are essential in a kid's life. If their parents are slacking, I can only cross my fingers and hope other people are stepping up!